News Brief Sign-Up
Be sure to sign up to receive Research to Action, the Nutrition Policy Institute's news brief providing information on research, policy, news, announcements, events, articles and action items focused on nutrition and healthy communities.
October 4, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Lauren Au on her English Channel swim
Demonstrating her commitment to physical activity and health, Nutrition Policy Institute Assistant Researcher Lauren Au completed her inspiring 28.1 mile English Channel swim in 11:01 hours this past summer. Au will share her exciting journey, including what foods she ate to keep nourished during the swim, her first meal post-swim, the marine life she encountered, lessons learned and what she has planned next. The presentation will include photos, videos and Q&A.
September 27, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Lilian Autler on the Equitable Food Initiative & Nathalie Marin-Gest on Fair Trade USA
The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a multi-stakeholder program that partners with growers and retailers in the produce industry to create a more transparent food chain, safer food and healthier places to work. Lilian Autler of the EFI Workforce Development team will provide an overview of the results of EFI’s 2017 impact evaluation report with a focus on EFI’s positive impact on the lives of farmworkers. Fair Trade USA is the leading certifier of Fair Trade Certified products, working with producers and workers in more than 50 countries. Nathalie Marin-Gest, director of Fair Trade’s produce and floral program, will speak about that program, including a review of agricultural issues on all sides of the border and related impact from the more than 1.5 billion pounds of produce sold on Fair Trade terms that has generated significant improvements in the lives of farmers and workers.
September 25, 2018
Lorrene Ritchie featured in Healthy Communities Study webinar
Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie will be featured in a webinar titled "The Healthy Communities Study: How Community Programs and Policies Are Related to Children's Health." Hosted by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), the webinar will provide a brief overview of the Healthy Communities Study, the results of which suggest that targeted investments in community programs and policies can contribute to the improved nutrition and physical activity of children. The webinar will also highlight several findings from the Healthy Communities Study recently published in Pediatric Obesity. The host of the webinar, NCCOR, brings together four of the nation's leading research funders—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—to address the problem of childhood obesity in America.
September 13, 2018
Pat Crawford co-authors seminal Healthy People 2020 report identifying innovative strategies for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption
The Nutrition Policy Institute’s Pat Crawford DrPH, RD, is one of four authors (with Lauren Dunning JD, MPH; Manel Kappagoda JD, MPH; and Jean C. O’Connor JD, MPH, DrPH) of a seminal Healthy People 2020 report, The Role of Law and Policy in Achieving the Healthy People 2020 Nutrition and Weight Status Goals of Increased Fruit and and Vegetable Intake in the United States. The report was released today by the Healthy People 2020 Law and Health Policy Project, a collaboration between the CDC Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The report highlights the state of laws and policies related to the Healthy People nutrition and weight status topic area, specifically increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables. Healthy People 2020 is a national initiative supported by the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion that provides science-based, 10-year objectives to improve the health of all Americans. Healthy People 2020 serves as a tool for the federal government, states, communities and many other public- and private-sector partners to use in setting strategies to address health challenges and improve health.
September 13, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Sri Hewawitharana and Shelly Mandel on data management
This training will discuss elements of data management to keep in mind while designing study protocols involving data collection, as well as a brief look into initial data management steps to take once data has been collected. Topics will include: ID creation, data security, an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of data collection methods, data validation, variable naming conventions, codebook creation and an overview of some descriptive statistics used to check data quality.
September 6, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Hilary Seligman on Food Insecurity and Health: Addressing a Complex Social Problem Through Programs, Policies and Partnerships
Hilary Seligman MD, one of the nation's foremost experts on the health implications of food insecurity, discusses how to address a complex social problem through programs, policies and partnerships. Emerging evidence supports the long-held contention that food insecurity impacts health. Dr. Seligman will review this evidence and new insights into its economic implications. She will then examine the concept of strategic science and how it can be used to make research more impactful, using examples from her own work developing food security programs (such as EatSF), examining policies that support food security (such as SNAP) and partnering with community-based organizations who share these goals (such as Feeding America).
September 3, 2018
Isabel Rangel’s NPI-funded research is featured in Politico article
An NPI-funded study by UC Berkeley graduate student Isabel Rangel is featured in a Politico article by Helena Bottemiller Evich. The article focuses on immigrants who are turning down federal food aid because they fear the Trump administration could bar them from getting a green card if they accept the aid. Rangel’s research is mentioned in the article, which quotes her: “She said they described dealing with ‘constant anxiety,’ even when they've decided to keep using programs like WIC, Medicaid and food stamps. They're worried that their documentation status will be somehow be jeopardized by participating in these health programs. They say: 'I can't stop using these programs because my children need them, but I know I'm risking my future and the future of my children.'" Rangel has been exploring how the current anti-immigrant climate is affecting the ways that mixed-status families, composed of at least one undocumented parent and one documented child, are accessing health and nutrition programs in California. Rangel received her MPH from UC Berkeley and is a graduate of UCLA where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Public Health and Labor and Workplace Studies. Her passion for addressing Latinx health inequities stems from her experiences of being raised in rural farmworker communities both in Mexico and in California’s Central Valley.
September 1, 2018
Childhood Obesity publishes NPI-led special issue
Childhood Obesity has published a special issue on policies, programs and best practices in early care and education settings that was developed by Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie and coordinated by Ritchie and Danielle Lee. Published on September 1, 2018, the issue includes 12 articles as well as a remembrance of Susie Nanney, who worked to improve children's and family health in underserved and rural communities, including in early care and education settings. In addition to leading the development of the special issue, Ritchie co-authored a paper in the issue with Danielle Lee, Klara Gurzo, Sallie Yoshida, Elyse Homel Vitale and Ken Hecht: Compliance with the New 2017 Child and Adult Care Food Program Standards for Infants and Children before Implementation.
August 30, 2018
Nutrition Policy Institute fact sheets outline how CalFresh benefits California's counties
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California, is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program. CalFresh provides critical support to low-income families while strengthening the local economy. The Nutrition Policy Institute has created a series of fact sheets that show how CalFresh benefits each of California's 58 counties.
August 23, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Isabel Rangel on health and nutrition programs accessed by mixed-status families in an anti-immigrant climate: Perspectives from Mexican parents living in California
Isabel Rangel will present the results from her capstone project exploring how the current anti-immigrant climate is affecting the ways that mixed-status families, composed of at least one undocumented parent and one documented child, are accessing health and nutrition programs in California. Rangel received her MPH from UC Berkeley and is a graduate of UCLA where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Public Health and Labor and Workplace Studies. Her passion for addressing Latinx health inequities stems from her experiences of being raised in rural farmworker communities both in Mexico and in California’s Central Valley.
August 2, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Tia Shimada and Lorrene Ritchie on research to policy
Tia Shimada, director of programs at California Food Policy Advocates, and Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and UC Cooperative Extension specialist, discuss how research can—and should—shape public policy. They will draw on years of partnership between advocates and academic researchers to share lessons learned about designing, conducting and disseminating policy-focused research. They will also talk about how advocates work with researchers of all stripes—from tenured faculty to think-tank data wonks—to advance state and federal policy.
July 26, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Mark Bell on the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Jigsaw
Mark Bell, vice provost of strategic initiatives and statewide programs for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will talk about the interrelationship of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ (UC ANR) strategic initiatives, statewide programs, program teams and workgroups and the new UC ANR public value statements. UC ANR improves the lives of Californians through its research and extension in the areas of agriculture, the environment, natural resources management, and human and community development. The division develops and delivers solutions to local problems in such areas as farming, nutrition, veterinary medicine, water quality and conservation, and offers programs for youth and families. The effects of these efforts have been widespread—from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the fibers that clothe us, to the programs that sustain our natural environments and provide educational programs for inner-city at-risk youth.
July 24, 2108
California State Assembly report examines hunger and homelessness among California college students; NPI study cited
The California State Assembly Speaker’s Office of Research and Floor Analysis released a report about hunger and homelessness issues among University of California, California State University and California Community College students. The report presents a comprehensive overview of basic needs insecurity issues in California's public higher education system. The Nutrition Policy Institute’s groundbreaking 2016 Student Food Access and Security Study is cited in the report. NPI has since published numerous papers about student food insecurity and basic needs issues including:
- A systematic review of food insecurity among U.S. students in higher education
- Food insecurity win California’s public university system: What are the risk factors?
- No food for thought: Food insecurity is related to poor mental health and lower academic performance among students in California’s public university system
- College students identify university support for basic needs and life skills as key ingredient in addressing food insecurity on campus
July 23, 2018
Lorrene Ritchie presents at Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2018 Annual Conference
Nutrition Policy Institute Director Lorrene Ritchie presents "School Meals in the 21st Century: Using Technology and Design Innovation" at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2018 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She will discuss results from a study of school food service redesign to improve meal participation and dietary intake. The results have been used to inform policy related to targeted technological interventions, point of sale and staff promotions to improve school meal participation rates, improve participant diet quality and variety, and decrease obesity in school meal participants. Earlier this year, Ritchie was honored as a Gold Author by the Society's Journal of Nutrition of Education and Behavior (JNEB) in recognition of her many excellent manuscripts published in JNEB during the last ten years.
July 12, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Andrea Begley on furthering food and nutrition policy in Australia
Action to progress food and nutrition policy in Australia has not been successful in the past decade even though diet is the leading contributor to the burden of disease and the latest release of national nutrition survey results convincingly demonstrate the nutrition problems. Political responses in the form of programs or interventions can best be described as patchy. Serious questions remain about the capacity of the three tiers of government to plan, coordinate and implement effective solutions. Andrea Begley, senior lecturer in dietetics and public health at the School of Public Health at Curtin University in Western Australia, will discuss current attempts to improve diet quality, as well as ideas for furthering food and nutrition policy in Australia.
July 11, 2018
Childhood Obesity Conference call for presenter proposals is open
The 10th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference (COC), to be held July 15-18, 2019 in Anaheim, California, invites individuals and organizations engaged in researching, developing, implementing and evaluating policy and environmental strategies that address root causes of childhood obesity to submit proposals for consideration for inclusion in the 10th Biennial COC program. The theme of the conference is "Beyond Obesity: Tackling Root Causes." The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday, August 3, 2018. In addition, the call for pre-conference session proposals will open in fall 2018.
July 2, 2018
In memoriam: Susie Nanney
On June 15, 2018, the Nutrition Policy Institute lost a colleague and friend, Susie Nanney. Susie was an associate professor at the University of Minnesota where she served as director of the population health division. She was the founding director of the Health Equity in Policy Initiative for the Program in Health Disparities Research. Her research focused on obesity prevention, hunger relief, health disparities and policy. She worked to improve children’s and family health in underserved and rural communities. We will miss her as a colleague and as a champion in promoting population health and reducing health disparities. An undergraduate scholarship is being established in her name at the University of Minnesota. The purpose of the fund is to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students with financial need. Donate to the Susie Nanney Scholarship Fund.
June 29, 2018
Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer present a workshop in Chicago: Just Add Water! Healthy Beverages in Child Care
The Nutrition Policy Institute's Christina Hecht and Laura Vollmer present a workshop during the National Association for Family Child Care Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The workshop, Just Add Water! Healthy Beverages in Child Care, covers the importance of drinking water, not sugary drinks, for health. Attendees will learn the latest news on drinking water and beverages in child care. Results from a new study on nutrition standards in family child care, new beverage guidance for young children, and educational and promotional resources will be provided to help attendees put new drinking water guidance into practice. The workshop is at 10 a.m. in the Tegel room.
June 28, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Marianne Bitler on "Impacts of Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs"
Marianne P. Bitler, professor in the UC Davis Department of Economics, will discuss research on the effects of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) on participants' food acquisition, diet and health outcomes. She will also discuss research on the long-term effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (previously known as the Food Stamp program) on participants' earnings and use of disability benefits.
June 26, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Ingrid Feng on "Farming for Native Bees: Seeking a Solution to the Honey Bee Crisis"
Ingrid Feng, whose experience includes work as a native bee researcher at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, discusses the decline of honey bee populations and the potential of using wild native bees as an alternate pollination source for our nation's crops. Research shows that wild native bees have the capacity to pollinate just as efficiently as honey bees. Support for native bees in agricultural, wild and urban settings has implications for agriculture, conservation and public health, however. While native bees may alleviate the immediate honey bee crisis, they do not resolve the underlying problems resulting from dependence on one bee species for crop pollination. View the slides for this presentation.
June 11, 2018
Lorrene Ritchie presents at Nutrition 2018, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual conference
Lorrene Ritchie presents Community Programs, Policies and Practices Related to an Increased Prevalence of Healthy Weight: The California Healthy Kids Study at Nutrition 2018, the American Society for Nutrition’s annual conference. She will be discussing characteristics of successful programs to promote healthy weight among middle schoolers.
June 1, 2018
NPI Brown Bag: Safety Net Investments in Children: The Evidence on SNAP with Hilary Hoynes
In this talk, UC Berkeley Professor of Economics and Public Policy Hilary Hoynes will review what is known about the long-term effects of SNAP on health and economic outcomes. In particular, she will examine how giving more food assistance to families when children are young translates into outcomes in adulthood. She will present results from some of her work in progress, “Is the Social Safety Net a Long-Term Investment? Large-Scale Evidence from the Food Stamps Program.”
Please see additional news items in our News section
You can now contribute to the work of NPI by making a tax-deductible donation. Your gift will help reduce food insecurity, obesity and diabetes by ensuring that healthy food, beverages and opportunities for physical activity are convenient, accessible, affordable and sustainable.